Lego City Undercover

April 14, 2013 at 14:35 (Games, WiiU)

Lego City Undercover was one of the games that made me decide buying a Wii U would be worthwhile. The game just looked like lots of fun and making good use of the new technology. This week I finished the story, which makes up less than 20% of the game, and I’ve had a great time. I’m hardly the target audience but I have strange tastes. The game may be simple and quite repetitive but a great script, voice performances (from Adam Buxton and Peter Serafinowicz) and lots of film and game references hold it all together so well. I laughed out loud on many occasions and was impressed that one level managed to reference (every?) Arnold Schwarzenegger film – so much is wasted on children.

There  are problems, the loading times are horrendous but fortunately not that disruptive once the game has started. It’s not helped by really stupid things like having to press about 5 buttons to start a game. Eliminating loading times is one of the few things I want to see in the next generation of games, or at least some form of interactivity during the loading (even more so on the Wii U controller). It’s a shame more isn’t made of the controller, the scanning shown in early trailers is put to limited to use and not that effective when it is utilised – it could have done with non-motion controller like ZombieU. It is great having the map and video calls come through on the controller but unfathemable why the astronaut simon sequences don’t use the touch screen – not that it matters too much.

I had an issue with the pacing and save points, chapters are of varying length and it’s never clear when would be a good time to stop playing because the chapters flow into each other and saving restarts you back at police HQ , breaking the flow and requiring lots of  unnecessary back tracking. It’s also a shame some of the game mechanics aren’t explained in the game, I had to figure out the multiplier (and still not sure quite what it does) and having to purchase the unlockables back at HQ completely passed me by until after I finished the story.

I’m unsure how much of the rest of the game I’ll explore, there always seems to be something else to do and despite the repetition it is still fun. One annoyance might be some of the side missions don’t clear from the game once you’ve completed them, a few times now I thought I’ve found something new only to realise later that I have already completed it and gained the reward. I hope to play, perhaps aiming for 50% or so but I also want to play Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider and the older Max Payne 3 and Tomb Raider I picked up in the Xbox Live sale the other month.

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